If you read Michael Lewis’ latest Bloomberg column, Bashing Goldman Sachs Is Simply a Game for Fools, quickly, you might think it’s a brutal take down of the newest Wall St muckraker (Taibbi) by the grand marshal of Wall St muckraking (Lewis). Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it, this column seems to be satire. I can’t decide which I’d prefer to see, a Lewis/Taibbi Tag Team, or a knockdown drag out between the them. In any case, a good read.
America stands at a crossroads, and Goldman Sachs now owns both of them. In choosing which road to take, ordinary Americans must not be distracted by unproductive resentment toward the toll-takers. To that end we at Goldman Sachs would like to dispel several false and insidious rumors.
Matt Taibbi’s recent take down of Goldman Sachs in Rolling Stone, The Great American Bubble Machine, is full of Taibbi’s usual clever turns of phrase and acerbic prose. What I feel differentiates this article from his work is the high pitched response from Goldman Sachs and detractors in the media who are making tons of points about Taibbi’s article, none of which are, ‘It’s not true.’ (PDF and Full Text of article.)
Felix Salmon has a refutation by a Goldman flack.
Taibbi responds to the flack and notes why Goldman’s POV is not represented in the article. They didn’t want to talk.
Time Magazine steps into it in a somewhat ham handed way. Not making many points or adding much substance to the discussion.
Taibbi responds to Time, taking most issue with Time’s ‘everyone was doing it‘ defense of Goldman.
Megan McArdle somehow connects Taibbi’s writing to Sarah Palin, which doesn’t make much sense. Then she hangs out in the comments section saying, “I’m just not down with the idea that there’s some sort of elusive “central point” to stories that permits you to write a bunch of total nonsense as long as the “central point” is good.” Which, as a commenter points out, will probably be posted as a comment on every McArdle piece for the rest of time.
Here’s Obsidian Wings saying the article isn’t as bad as Kevin Drum said it was (though Drum then recanted his statement based on the fact that Rolling Stone confusingly posted excerpts of the article online instead of the full text).
More as it comes in.
Taibbi’s take on Jake DeSantis, the AIG executive who resigned in the NY Times last week is excellent.
DeSantis has a few major points.
I have a few responses to those points. They are 1) Bullshit; 2) bullshit; 3) bullshit, plus of course; 4) bullshit. Lastly, there is 5) Boo-Fucking-Hoo. You dog.
And then this:
First of all, Jake, you asshole, no plumber in the world gets paid a $740,000 bonus, over and above his salary, just to keep plumbing. Second, try living on a plumber’s salary before you even think about comparing yourself to one; you’re inviting a pitchfork in the gut by even thinking along those lines. Third, Jake, if you were a plumber, and the electrician burned the house down — well, guess what? If you and that electrician worked for the same company, you actually wouldn’t get paid for that job.